A leading gun control group has chosen to endorse Republican Chris Smith over his Democratic challenger Stephanie Schmid this fall.
A leading gun control group, the Brady PAC, has chosen to endorse Republican Chris Smith over his Democratic challenger Stephanie Schmid in the race for New Jersey’s fourth congressional district.
Brady PAC is the sister organization of the Brady Campaign, the nation’s oldest gun violence prevention group. The organization was started by Sarah Brady, in honor of her husband James Brady, a Republican aide to then-President Ronald Reagan. Brady was left permanently disabled when he was shot in the 1981 assassination attempt against Reagan.
The Brady Campaign has endorsed both Republicans and Democrats who support gun control. Smith is only the second Republican Brady PAC has endorsed this election cycle.
This also comes at a time when gun sales are soaring in the midst of the pandemic.
The fourth congressional district covers nearly all of Monmouth County, including towns such as Holmdel, part of Middletown, Colts Neck, Rumson, Manalapan, Freehold, Red Bank and Wall Township. The fourth district also reaches into Jackson and Lakewood in Ocean County and Hamilton and Robbinsville in Mercer County.
Smith has represented this part of New Jersey since 1981, and is one of the state’s only two remaining Republican congressmen; Democrats have been trying to win the seat for years. Schmid, 39, is his Democratic challenger; she is a Yale graduate, worked for the State Department in Haiti and actually once interned for Smith as a teenager getting her feet wet in government.
Political experts, such as Cook Political Report and David Wildstein at the New Jersey Globe do not consider the Fourth District Congressional race to be competitive this fall, meaning they predict Smith will easily win re-election.
If re-elected Nov. 3, this would be Smith’s 21st term in Congress.
Brady PAC will also be investing financially in Smith’s re-election campaign as well, but declined to answer when Patch asked how much they were giving the congressman.
Brady cited Smith’s co-sponsoring of universal background check laws and his support for a ban on assault weapons.
“The bottom line is that common sense measures to prevent gun violence are about saving lives and Congressman Chris Smith gets that,” said Brady PAC director Brian Lemek. “Over the years, from being one of the original cosponsors of universal background check to his support for an assault weapons ban, closing the Charleston loophole and more, Congressman Smith has the receipts to prove he is a gun violence prevention champion. We endorse his record and leadership.”